Monday, November 6, 2017

Black Cross / Blue Sky Squadron Card Templates

Want to make squadron cards for planes not in the base game or Lost Squadrons? Or make your own custom plane cards? I've uploaded the basic templates I use to create all my squadron cards. These are all PowerPoint slides. I've also included the country symbols as well. You'll just need to supply the plane drawings, which can be found online. Let me know in the comments if you found these templates useful. Also in the comments let me know if you've posted online any custom planes using these cards. Enjoy!

Link to Black Cross / Blue Sky - Squadron Card Templates:
BC/BS Squadron Card Templates (1.3MB)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Black Cross / Blue Sky Lost Squadrons Squadron Cards

The plane cards below are for the Lost Squadrons expansion to the Black Cross / Blue Sky WWII aerial wargame. You can find the base game's set at my previous post, Black Cross / Blue Sky Squadron Cards. Since in the previous post I explain how to use these cards with the game, I won't repeat myself here.

A special thanks goes out to zippyfusenet, Fatman, Dennis, and all the other fellows over at The Miniatures Page for their help providing stats and corrections for this and the base game set of plane cards. I hope you enjoy using them. Next on my list is to buy and paint some planes for the game!

Sample Pics of Some Squadron Cards

Links to Black Cross / Blue Sky -
"Lost Squadrons" Squadron Cards:
LS Card - British Fairey Battle
LS Card - British Fairey Fulmar Mk. II
LS Card - British Spitfire Mk. II
LS Card - British Gladiator
LS Card - British Swordfish
LS Card - British Wellington
LS Card - Dutch Fokker D.XXI
LS Card - Dutch Fokker T.V
LS Card - Dutch G.IA Faucher
LS Card - French Amiot 143M
LS Card - French Dewoitine D.520
LS Card - French H75 A-4
LS Card - French LeO 451b
LS Card - French MB.152
LS Card - French M.S. 406
LS Card - French Potez 631
LS Card - German Ju-52/3M
LS Card - Polish PZL P.11c

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Black Cross / Blue Sky Squadron Cards

Black Cross/Blue Sky (click link to its Boardgamegeek entry) is a historical wargame covering the Battle of Britain. It's a hybrid board wargame and miniatures game, allowing players to field multiple squadrons of fighters and bombers without bogging down in too many details. After playing it a couple years ago at Rapier con in Jacksonville, I fell in love with the game. If you look in the blog's archives, you'll find some posts and photos of the game I played.

Last year I sold off much of my remaining unpainted miniatures collection that I realized would never see a paint brush. I used some of that money to purchase the base Battle of Britain game. I got in just in time. Sadly, the game has gone out of production and probably will not return any time soon.

Squadron Card Layout
Even though I love Black Cross/Blue Sky, I dislike keeping all the various damage counters on the individual planes. Inspired by the game I played with Jerry Boles at Rapier con, I made my own set of cards to record much of this information. Each card is designed for one British "Vee/Vic" or one German "Schwarm." To make life easier, I'll just call these squadrons. On the "front" side of the card, each squadron card has the game stats for that type of plane, using those from the Battle of Britain boxed game. It also has a large drawing of that plane and its nation's symbol, all against a blue sky background.

On the "back" side of the card are spaces to keep track of damage, critical hits, and ammunition for each plane in the squadron. (Only fighters can run out of ammo, so pure bombers don't have this info.) I also put some critical hit info on the cards. BTW any time you check off a red damage space, the plane is destroyed!

How To Use The Cards
Each squadron has its own PDF file below. Print a squadron's card and cut around its outer edges. Do not cut the card in half! Instead, fold the card along the center black line. Slide the card into a 4x6-inch rigid, clear plastic "toploader" card sleeve designed to hold large postcards or photos. I use the Ultra Pro series for these. I got mine at Amazon US in a 25-pack for about $10, and I have a link to them here.

I keep track of each squadron using small, removable color-coding dots, which can be picked up in any office supply store. They usually come in packs of four colors--red, blue, yellow, and green. I've also seen other colors as well. Post-It, Avery, and others make them from .25" up to 1" in diameter.

I assign each squadron a color. I place a small .25" dot of that color on the stand of each plane in that squadron. I write the plane's number on the dot as well. On the back side of the corresponding squadron's card I place a larger dot of the same color. I also record each plane's number. I find color coding squadrons like this makes my life easier. BTW using the same color for the British and German players is no problem.

Of course, you can use them as you please.

 Why Toploaders?
The toploaders allow us to use washable markers to keep track of damage, ticking off one circle for each point of damage. When done, simply wipe off the markings and the toploaders are clean to use again. The removable dots also make life easier. Nice and neat, no need to print out a new card each time you play the game.

If you have a chance to play Black Cross/Blue Sky, I hope you try out these cards and enjoy using them. Let me know.

Links to Black Cross / Blue Sky Squadron Cards:
BCBS Card - British Blenheim IF
BCBS Card - British Defiant
BCBS Card - British Hurricane Mk1
BCBS Card - British Spitfire Mk1
BCBS Card - German Bf-109E
BCBS Card - German Bf-110c
BCBS Card - German Do-17Z
BCBS Card - German He-111H
BCBS Card - German Ju-87B
BCBS Card - German Ju-88A

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Warmaster Fantasy - Tomb Kings Counter Set Revised

This set of Tomb Kings counters replaces the set that I did over a decade ago while I was active on the Warmaster Yahoo email list. Unlike the old set, which was slightly undersized, this set will print to the full 20mm x 40mm counters.

"The Tomb-King is the leader of the army and all its troops are the slaves and servants who accompany him in undeath. His chief and most trusted ministers are his Liche-Priests--wizards of great power whose sole job in life was to prepare the King's tomb and ensure his lasting immortality. When a King died his Liche-Priests would continue to perform rituals of immortality in his mortuary temple until they too died when they would be interred along with their master--often together with their own slaves, sacred guardians, chariots and treasured possessions." -- the Warmaster Rulebook

Printing the Counters
I hope some of you find these counter sets useful.You can print these at office printing places, like Staples, using heavy card stock paper printed at actual size. You can also print on regular paper and then glue the counters to wooden bases. (Check the older posts on how I did this with my Empire army.) Currently, I'm printing the counter sets at Staples using regular paper, spray gluing the back of each sheet with Super77, attaching each sheet to an old comic book backing board, and then cutting out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with steel ruler. Using the backing boards makes for cheap, sturdy counters.

Click on the counter set image above to download the complete army counter set in PDF format. The set has enough counters to create the sample armies below and many armies of 2000 points or less. Of course, if you need more counters simply print more copies!

Tomb Kings Army Lists

Total Points: 1,000
1x Tomb King
2x Liche Priests (Ring of Magic, Dispel Scroll)
6x Skeletons
2x Bowmen
4x Cavalry
1x Carrion
1x Skull Chukka

Total Points: 1,495
1x Tomb King
2x Liche Priests
8x Skeletons
4x Bowmen
6x Cavalry
2x Chariots
1x Carrion
1x Bone Giant
1x Skull Chucka

Brigade #1
1x Skeleton Archers
3x Skeletons

Brigade #2
1x Skeleton Archers
3x Skeletons

Brigade #3:
1x Skull Chucka
2x Skeletons

The following divided into 2 or more brigades:
6x Skeleton Cavalry
2x Skeleton Chariots

Total Points: 1,500
1x Tomb King
2x Liche Priests (Ring of Magic, Dispel Scroll)
6x Warriors
2x Bowmen
8x Cavalry
1x Carrion
1x Skull Chukka
1x Zombie Dragon
1x Sphinx

Total Points: 2,000
1x Tomb King
4x Liche Priests (Ring of Magic, Dispel Scroll, Chariot Mount, Orb)
8x Cavalry
14x Warriors
4x Bows
2x Carrion
1x Zombie Dragon
1x Sphinx

Total Points: 2,000
1x Tomb King on Zombie Dragon
1x Liche Priest in Chariot
2x Liche Priest
6x Skeletons (plus 6 extra Skeleton units for Raise Dead)
4x Bowmen
4x Cavalry
4x Chariots
1x Carrion
1x Bone Giant
2x Skull Chucka
2x Bone Thrower

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Warmaster 1000 Point Empire v Dwarf Game

Game setup. Dwarves on left, Empire on right.
Yesterday early morning, I found myself sitting at home all alone, while the wife and son went over to the east coast of the state to do some shopping. We had planned to spent the day at Disney World with a friend, but that fell through. So there I was. Alone and bored. I was going to try to paint some miniatures a bit, something I haven't done in two years now (gasp!). However, I've been thinking about what types of games I want to play (mass combat, skirmish, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, 10mm, 15mm, 28mm, yadadadada) and if I even still want to play miniature games, now that I'm mainly a solo miniature gamer. (My son and I occasionally still play board and card games, though his interest is more in model railroading and girlfriends now.)

Instead of painting, I decided to play a solo game of Warmaster! Though I've been re-making a lot counter sets lately, I hadn't played the game in over a decade. It's one of the few miniature rules I've actually liked over the years, and works well solo due to the command rolls. The downside is that I had to literally re-learn the rules, but that would have been the case for anything I pulled off my shelf. (I'm not one to keep rules in my head for long!)

I would also put my counter sets to use, which is how I used to play Warmaster and ACWarmaster back in the day. (This also was less work than setting up my 15mm miniatures and buildings for a game of WWII, which was my other plan for the day.) I only have two WM counter sets ready for play, so I used them to create 1,000 point armies. For the Dwarfs, I used my latest set mounted on comic book board. This set has full art with no stats, and old school dwarf miniatures. For the Empire, I already had my old set mounted on MDF bases. These have a couple figures per stand (mainly from old Warmaster images that I've long since lost and cannot find online) along with stats on each counter. Playing with the old Empire set was easier because I had the stats on the counters, but the dwarfs looked better on the table. I just had to refer often to my dwarf my list, like any miniatures game.

All in all, I was happy how the new counters worked out. With only four figure images per stand, they look more like 15mm than 10mm, but I have been debating between these two scales for some time. I've literally been paralyzed by this. Neither 10mm nor 15mm is ideal for Warmaster at the moment. I should write my thoughts as a future post.

A Quick Summary of the Game
Since I don't have miniatures, I'm not going to bore readers with a play-by-play of the game with lots of mediocre shots from my ancient digital camera. I will say that the Dwarf tactics article I posted on the Dwarf counter set's page is great advice for WM dwarf players. (I fixed the link yesterday and cleaned up the post in general. Sorry about the dead link for so long!) Their good armor saves, crazy trollslayers, high command general, and artillery make up for their slowness, low-unit counts, and high unit costs. The Dwarfs pretty much manhandled the Empire the entire game. Trollslayers are just amazing when charging a brigade of enemy infantry. In one turn, one unit of Trollslayers just about destroyed a 3-unit Empire brigade. Gotta love charging and advancing!

Warmaster Fantasy Thoughts
The Empire kept blowing command rolls and rolling badly overall. This can be one of the frustrating aspects of Warmaster. Then again, it could have gone completely opposite. If the Empire had decent or normal dice rolls and been able to use some of their magic (darn those Dwarf Runecasters!), the game might have gone differently. Plus, Warmaster Fantasy doesn't operate so well at 1,000 points. If memory serves me, 2,000 points is where the game really works better. I also played on my 3x5 table, which puts units into combat quickly as if playing a 28mm game. If I had played on a 5x6 set of folding tables, it might have been different for the Empire since they could have used maneuvering to their advantage. (I was too lazy to pull out and set up the folding tables!)

Will I continue to play Warmaster and build some actual miniature armies? As I write this, I'm not sure. I'll continue to make counter sets because it can be fun late in the evening. And they cost me nothing other than time, though I wish I still had the images from GW's website of 15 years ago! ( is no help there.) I'll probably throw down some more games this summer as well, even doing some Ancients with the counters. Sadly, this is a "dead" game so overall interest in the real world is quite low it seems. (BTW I did get a copy of En Garde and Black Ops the other week!)

Do I want to buy and paint Warmaster miniatures? That is another issue and something for me to ponder in future posts. Sigh. If could go back in a time machine 15 years, this would be a no-brainer. But I would need a large truck to bring back all the GW miniatures I would love to have been able to buy back then when we literally were poor. All the old turn-of-the-century Epic, Warmaster, BFG, Mordheim, Necromunda, 40K, LotR and more I would love to buy! Yeah, wouldn't we all like to go back in time and buy some cool GW stuff!

Happy Easter everyone!

Dwarves army deployment.

Empire army and deployment.

End of Turn 1

Beginning of last turn.

End of game. Empire has reached Breakpoint.